While a lot of us are dependent on our digital assistants and smart speakers to do things for us or answer our queries, there are also opportunistic entities out there that will try to scam us out of our hard-earned money. One “weapon” that they’re using now is the search and auto-dial function of these digital assistants and so consumers are now being warned to be more careful when using this particular function of their Google Assistant, Alexa, or Siri.
The Better Business Bureau posted an article on their website, warning consumers about the dangers of asking your smart device to look up a number and then automatically call it. You might not get the actual number of the business you’re trying to reach and there’s a big possibility you’ll be scammed out of money or personal information in case what you are able to reach is masquerading as a representative of the company.
What some of these scammers are doing is creating fake customer service numbers and then using various tricks to make them reach the top of the search results. Some have even resorted to paying for ads just to improve their Google ranking and even outrank the actual website of the legitimate business. So if you ask a device to do a voice search and then make the call, it might reach one of the scam numbers.
To avoid being scammed, it would be best to just do things manually. Search for the actual phone number of the business you’re trying to reach by going to their website but make sure to also double-check the URL because there are also entities that create fake websites to trick people. You can also use the numbers on your bill or the confirmation email from the business. The short of it is that you make sure the number you’re calling is legitimate.
You might think that you’ll never be scammed through this like that woman who spent $400 in pre-paid gift cards thinking she was talking to the airline where she wanted to change seats. But you can never be too careful. And until Google Assistant or Alexa learn to recognize fake numbers, don’t use them to make auto calls.
August 19, 2019 at 11:02PM